Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Evening Classes

I’ve just been reading an excellent article, written by Sue Arnold, in today’s Guardian. In this article she was discussing the news that this Government (who should know better)* are cutting down on funding Adult Education which in turn will affect that beloved national institution, evening classes. This would be such a shame. I know that, over the years, I, for one, have benefited greatly from evening classes. I left school at fifteen, not because I was thick, I had passed my eleven plus and got to grammar school and was an avid reader, almost like a chain smoker, I always had one book on the go and the next one waiting to be picked up as soon as the current read was finished. The reason was that because I was quiet, shy and not the prettiest flower in the vase I was picked on and bullied so as soon as I could I removed myself from the situation and went out into the world of work.

When I got to eighteen I decided I wanted to learn so over the next ten years ( at my own expense) I studied for and passed three O levels, did LAMDA courses in speech and drama, joined a Am Dram group attached to the local art college, and passed three A levels in English, History and History of Art. I then took a couple of years out when I got married but by 1980 both P and I had enrolled for Open University, he studying sciences and me studying Arts. It took us six years of hard work to get our degrees. P went on to do teaching qualifications whilst I studied for the Museums Association diploma, and various courses relating to tourism. In the last few years I have done various courses at the local colleges for Creative Writing.

I think it would be such a shame if this type of class were to disappear completely as they are of great benefit to the many people, who, for one reason or another can’t complete their education at school or get to University at the time and age they are supposed to.

* unless my history is at fault, weren’t the Labour party or at least members** of it instigators and founders of the Open University?
**The names of Harold Wilson and Jennie Lee spring to mind.

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